Random ramblings of a Rose…

Posts tagged ‘School’

Well, it’s not June!

So, at the close of my last update (around 10 months ago) I hoped that my next blog post wouldn’t happen this June. Well, it’s not June! Oh, dear. I have such good intentions for journals, I really do. And I LOVE buying them, holding them in my hands, looking at them, etc. I’m just terrible at writing in them. I had hoped that doing something on the computer would be more conducive to regular entries, but apparently I was wrong. **sigh** Lol.

Well, here’s a little bit about Jose and Squishy, since they’re the reason I’m here!
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Jose is 7 and in 2nd grade now. He was SUPER anxious about going back to school this year (for the first time ever), but has really jumped into things now that he’s there. After the first day of school, he told Daddy, “Second grade is THE BEST!!! I still don’t want to be back to school, but 2nd grade is the best!” 2nd grade is also a lot tougher, come to find out, though he’s rising admirably to the challenge. Honestly, I think 2nd grade is going to be harder for us as parents than it will be for him, simply because we’re really having to start being active and proactive about making sure that everything is done and that we are assisting him in all the areas we need to be doing so. It’s not beating him down at all, but for me it’s being rather overwhelming. Huge, HUGE drawback to having two full-time working parents, honestly. Because, yes, that’s what the position I took last year has turned into. And I know it’s a God thing, but I’m questioning and struggling with how having this job is going to affect our family and especially Jose’s schooling. Back to Jose, though. He’s doing AR again, and will have the test soon to determine the correct level for him to be focusing on this year. This is also the first year that AR will be part of his reading grade. His teacher is a wonderful lady whose children I watched during my time at the YMCA and I am so happy he got her. He’s with his best friend again this year – another blessing. He’s also been seeing Dr. Beth off and on again to help with how the pressures of everything that’s happened in the past couple of years is bearing down on him. We’ve made behavioral changes, nutritional changes, attitude changes, etc. All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how those things have helped guide him back to a mental path where he feels more secure and able to take on the world with the correct reactions. My only issue right now is a strange lack of communication from Dr. Beth herself, which has never been a problem in the past. Working to resolve that now, but I’m worried that if this continues, it will be negative for Jose. But it’s in God’s hands and that’s where I’ll try to leave it. Outside of all that jazz, Jose has also taken up piano and gymnastics, both of which he has a great love and good deal of talent for. I don’t know where either one of those will take him, if anywhere, but for now, it’s enough that he enjoys what he’s doing. He’s also going to be taking the after-school art classes again at least twice this year. He’s currently enrolled in one of the fall sessions, and he’s planning to attend one in Jan/Feb with his best friend. The two of them are also participating in the school’s elementary art club which is in charge of several art installations which will be going up around campus.

Squishy is a bundle of energy and sunshine – in his 2nd year of preschool (actually considered a Pre-K class due to the material they’ll be working on) and will be having class half-day for the 1st semester and full-day for the second to help prepare for kindergarten next year. Life events have started to cause definite character formation in him, though he is still really working on discovering who he is. He is kind, sweet, and sensitive, but he is all boy and reacts in mind-boggling fashion sometimes to the world around him, lol. He is funny as can be, just like his brother before him, but sometimes a lack of filter gets him in trouble… One thing that has really developed and become apparent in him is just how deeply he feels. It isn’t so much that he wears his heart on his sleeve, but rather that his heart is an endless well, which honestly threatens to consume him sometimes. But, he’s only 4 and still has to figure out how much of himself to give to various parts of his life – right now he wants to give 200% of himself to everything and everyone, and that leaves him stretched really thin. Preschool is going very well and he’s having a blast! He loves his two teachers this year (Miss Michelle, whom Jose also had, and Miss Jen, who is new) and wants to do everything in his power to never disappoint them. He’s having some trouble with classmates simply because there are a lot of very strong personalities in the class this year, and he is one of the youngest students, but he’s really making strides in standing up for himself, knowing when to walk away, and knowing when to involve a teacher. Also (and this is a big blessing!) he’s been doing an EXCELLENT job of remembering to use his words instead of his hands to get his point across. For so long, when he was frustrated, it was simpler to just shove whoever he was angry with, but he’s maturing quickly in his kinder-prep environment and it’s amazing to see the difference between toddler and young man that’s rapidly occurring in him. Squishy is also a spiritual blessing for me. This isn’t to say that Jose isn’t, because he certainly is in his own way, but Squishy just sees things differently. He is very open and perceptive and comes to me with questions, statements, and dreams that often blow me away. He’ll talk about playing with Grandpa Bud (who passed away before Jose was even born) in the backyard, or come sit and tell me about when he was in heaven before he was born. He also has reoccurring dreams about what he calls his “alone house” where all sorts of events take place that are detailed and vivid and often include people he knows in various stages of their lives. It’s a little scary sometimes, honestly, but mostly, I just wish I could sit and listen to him forever before the weight and sin of the world squash whatever this beautiful and innocent spiritual connection he currently has with God out of him.

My two boys are so opposite from one another and yet so alike in sometimes terrifying ways. I wish I could protect them from all loss and hurt, especially since they seem to have experienced both in extraordinary quantities for ones so young. Yes, I realize they have lead charmed lives compared to the great majority of the world’s child population, but in that charmed life, there can still be pain. Friends coming in and out of their lives. Loved ones who are no longer part of their world due to the changing needs and relationships of those who first introduced them. The realization that girls and boys grow up and may not always be able to remain best friends, because of what life dictates (I can’t even listen to “Best of Friends” from The Fox and The Hound without tearing up.) Being teased by friends or family – such a simple silly thing to the ones doing the teasing, but such a blow to the heart of one who sees the world differently. Their aunt, whom they knew for such a short amount of time, yet fell so head over heels for, passing away from cancer this past February. Even simple things like their fish, hamster, or the mama bird at school dying. And there is so much more. It just seems to compound to the point of night terrors, lashing out in anger, and breaking down sobbing for no apparent reason until they realize what the root cause of their heartache is. They love the people in their lives with every fiber of their being and are intense and serious in that love to the point that rejection (even something as small as a roll of the eyes and a, “Really?” regarding a t-shirt worn with such pride prior to said reaction) is a devastating experience.

And my problem and dilemma is one my mother faced with me: Do I sit them down and explain the hard and hurtful truth that not everyone is going to love them or even like them and that they need to toughen up? Or do I allow them to continue pouring themselves out to those they care for, all the while knowing how much hurt that can bring them? Do I rip off their rose-colored glasses or do I let them find out the harsh reality as it happens in time? Do I strip away their childish innocence for the sake of attempting to protect them from further pain, adding onto the glimpses they’ve already caught until they are cynical and flippant, making jokes out of any and every situation? Do I allow them to continue as they are, knowing they’ll be called wimps, pussies, mama’s boys, and worse if I let them cry when they need to cry and allow them to fully experience ALL human emotions? Is there some sort of happy medium between these two extremes???? At least, when it was me, I was a girl so most of those thing were considered more “acceptable” and less likely to make me a target (though I still managed to paint a pretty large bullseye on myself without really being aware of it.) But I’m raising two ultra-sensitive, crazy, loving, neurotic, artistic, athletic, intelligent, inquisitive, passionate, silly, somber (and more!) boys in a world that STILL after ALL this time seems to have a very definite picture of what a “real man” is and what he is not. And I don’t know if I’m prepared to handle the heartache that comes from that.

Now that I’ve rambled quite far down a rabbit trail I didn’t even see I was on, in closing a quote comes to mind (out of context, yes, but the sentiment is the same, entirely):

“‘I can bear pain myself,’ he said softly, ‘but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.'” ~ Jamie Fraser, Outlander

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I know, I suck at blogging… Lol

Well, clearly I am terrible at this! 😦 Almost 7 months have passed since my last post, and much has happened, but I’ll try to summarize. 😉

Jose graduated from Kindergarten (such a cute day they had for us proud relatives!) and lost a couple of teeth.  He also worked hard at the Accelerated Reader program he was accepted into early, and made great strides.  His capabilities in that area blow us away!

We went on a month-long road trip all over the country (Iowa, Michigan, Texas, back home) and SURVIVED!  Squishy couldn’t wait to get home by the end, and even asked if he could just go home by himself, ha ha. :mrgreen: Jose, on the other hand, asked if we could go around the country a second time.

We had a great time on our trip.  Stayed in tons of hotels, but saw no bedbugs (thank God!)  Jose got to shoot a rifle.  Squishy and Jose both went to the Iowa Children’s Museum, and there were no broken limbs this time.  The whole family participated in a Murder Mystery dinner – totally awesome.  We thought Squishy had gotten into the Blue Hawaiians, but it turned out to be a Dum Dum.  **whew**  Celebrated Grandma Rosie’s 90th birthday, took in a Kernels game and fireworks on the 4th of July, and spent tons of time with everyone.

In Michigan we celebrated a bunch of birthdays – Jose turned 6 in June, Squishy turned 3 in July, and at least three other MI relatives had birthdays, too, so there was a ton of partying going on!  We rode 4-wheelers, went fishing from the canoe in the lake, make water features, went to a water park, and just generally made a bunch of good memories.

In Texas, we got the privilege of meeting a wonderful soul from Ethiopia who is soon to be part of our larger family.  He adored Squishy’s hair and was a complete blessing to be around.  Can’t wait to see him again!  We also were thrilled to have a family member get baptized in the ocean while we were there.  Really cool! 😀

We got the boys hamsters for their big birthday present once we were back in town – they named them Chocolate Cherry (Choco), and Solomon.  We also had their pictures done when we came home, because Uncle Dude bought them AWESOME Naval outfits.
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Both boys started school shortly after returning home, and Mike went back to teaching for his 30th(?) year.  Mainly computers this year, which he’s not thrilled about, but knows the Lord has a reason for everything.  Squishy is in the 3’s class at the same preschool Jose went to, and Jose is in first grade with his best friend.  Squishy has LOVED school since day 1 – no tears from him!  Jose has had a little trouble with figuring out how to be a friend to someone who is raised with different values than you, so we’ve had many talks about that.  He seems to be doing well, though, and is showing more signs of not being afraid to be who he is w/o fear of what others will think/say.

At the beginning of October, I took on a long-term sub position in Squishy’s school (the Pre-K class) so that is exciting, scary, awesome, and daunting all at the same time.  It’s so nice though, because I don’t have to figure out where to put Squishy for daycare while I work, because he’s right there with me.  This job really fell right in my lap after a big shake-up at the Y involving my dad being laid off, and it is clearly a blessing straight from God.  I am still at the Y right now, too, but it seems as though the people I know there are dropping like flies!  But until God tells me, “Move!” I’ll stay right where I am.  And the boys love that we are still there because it means they can stay involved in activities/sports like soccer, swimming, etc. Jose got to participate in a swim meet before the “winter” season set in (meets become very limited at that point), and he got 1, 2, 3, and 5 place ribbons as well as a 3rd place all-around medal in his age/gender division.  So proud! 😎 Squishy played soccer with Aunt Eggy and had a blast!

The boys also started AWANA this year.  We looked into it after the men’s BSF group failed to find leaders for the children’s program (a gross irresponsibility to our youth, in my opinion, but no one’s asking.)  It has been a big hit with both of them.  They’ve been memorizing Bible verses left and right, asking theological questions, and asking to tell me stories they’ve learned.  Super glad to have this additional influence besides school and church.  And speaking of church, we’re in a period of transition right now, but we’re listening to God for the next move and trusting that He will lead as He’s always done.

Squishy had school pictures done that turned out SO adorable we just had to get them, too, despite having ones done this summer.  See??
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This past weekend, Jose and I did the “Color Me Rad” 5K with his best friend and another friend from class – total blast, even if I didn’t manage to set the color into the shirts properly before washing them. 😐
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And I think that just about brings me up to date on all/most of the important stuff.  There’s lots of other little things that have happened that I should have been writing about all along, but I don’t *think* I missed anything vital, ha ha!  Here’s hoping my next post won’t wait till next June… 😳

I’m BAAAAAAAACK!!!

Okay, so I won’t even bother to try and apologize for how long I’ve been away.  Totally my bad.  Sometimes I’m great at this blog thing, sometimes I stink.  More often the latter than the former, lol.  At any rate, let me catch you up on what you’ve missed!

October 2011

  • I discovered Pinterest (I’ll see if I can figure out how to post a link to my page…)
  • I organized our whole kitchen and we stopped using paper towels except for disgusting messes – the boys enjoy using facecloths for everything!
  • Jose found Squishy’s old swim trunks (size 0-3 months) and put them on – picture to follow
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  • I pinned way too many things on Pinterest, lol
  • The boys learned a hard lesson about reality. Reality dictates that when you are told you must behave in order to go to your friend’s birthday party in the afternoon, that doesn’t mean use your plates as frisbees and break one of them (Squishy), eat the food mom specifically set aside for her lunch and then lie and claim your brother did it (Jose), open your father’s computer and mess around on it while mom’s in the bathroom (Squishy), scream at your brother repeatedly at the top of your lungs (Jose), or continue to take your brother’s toys over and over and over after being told to knock it off (Squishy.)  They didn’t get to go to the birthday party.
  • I got my Facebook timeline, which I personally LOVE
  • The boys’ grandpa on Daddy’s side passed away (Oct 11, 2011) after having serious health issues for what seems like forever, and Jose was extremely upset that he didn’t get a chance to see him again before he died – cried for a long time 😥
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  • Jose had some night-time accidents out of the blue, but then stopped again (praise God!)
  • Squishy and I made awesome Halloween crafts at the YMCA
  • Squishy and I had a playdate with/babysat two adorable kiddos
  • My friend’s father went missing and was just found yesterday after six months of intense prayer and searching – his family is obviously saddened at the loss, but rejoicing that they know where his is and where he is spending eternity
  • Jose got sick and had to miss his first day of school, but got well and went back the next day to do his school’s Harvest Walk during which he walked 4.63 miles in 2 hours – he also won a giftcard for having the most sponsors of all the Kindergartners
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  • Squishy and I found a Starbucks gift card hiding in an old envelope and went out to get a treat
  • The boys lost a half a roll of stamps – it was found 5 1/2 months later
  • We all went to Flagstaff and enjoyed some time with Badi and Pop-pop – carved awesome pumpkins while we were there.  Jose had to go back to Phoenix for school, of course, and unfortunately, we ended up with no pictures of him on Halloween because the cameras were in Flagstaff and he wasn’t!  He was a doctor again, though, so we can just copy the ones from last year, lol. 😉

November 2011

  • Jose learned how to ride his bike without training wheels!!  He went from training wheels to pushing off, riding all up and down the street, and stopping all in one day!
  • Jose lost a 2nd tooth (November 8) – right next to the other one.  No more loose ones since then, though
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  • Aunt Laurla graduated with her nursing degree – woo hoo!!!
  • Jose learned how to be even more of a smart-ass.  Case in point: “Daddy: Do you want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Jose: No. Daddy: You don’t?? Jose: No. Daddy: Well, what DO you want? Jose: A poke in the eye with a sharp stick.”  Ha ha ha ha!!! 😀
  • Jose was blessed with a gift (to be kept till Christmas) from an anonymous donor – the one thing he had specifically been talking about wanting, the Littlest Pet Shop Rescue Tails Center  ❤
  • Jose and I made apple pie
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  • We celebrated Thanksgiving with EVERYONE!  Not all at the same time, but we saw my family and Daddy’s family, including the boys’ older half-siblings and their families
  • We celebrated Daddy’s birthday (Mommy and Daddy got to try out the new AMC dine-in theater and Studio Movie Grill – so cool!)
  • I pinned way too many more things to Pinterest
  • Squishy and I went to the mall with friends and he played Monkey Preschool Lunchbox for a good 20 minutes at least while they got help at the Apple store
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December 2011

  • We all tried out the fire pit at Badi and Pop-pop’s house
  • Squishy got sick and had to have breathing treatments – fortunately, we already have the machine and everything we need at home!
  • Got pictures with Santa and his (giant) Elf at the YMCA
  • Pinned a butt-load more things to Pinterest
  • Discovered Erin Condren
  • Aunt Eggy graduated from college!!!!  Woo hoo!  Jose got an awesome hat while there
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  • Jose’s Kindergarten class had a Cowboy Christmas Party at McCormick Railroad Park, for which Badi bought him INCREDIBLE cowboy boots – Aunt Laurla got to go with him!
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  • Squishy fell off the toilet and bashed his head on the toilet paper holder – it wasn’t bad, but he bled like a stuck pig and I was scared out of my mind
  • Jose and I made an awesome Christmas gift for his teacher
  • The biscuits exploded in our fridge
  • We celebrated an AMAZING Christmas
  • Jose perfected his spiral football pass to Uncle Jimmy (henceforth referred to as “Dude”, thanks to Squishy) whild he was in town
  • We (the adults) went to the Insight Bowl game and witnessed the trouncing of the Iowa Hawkeyes – the boys got to be babysat by Aunt Laurla, which they loved!

January 2012

  • Squishy and I went and visited Ms. Jess – always a great time when we do that!!!  Love her  ❤
  • Jose got to have a playdate with his twin friends from preschool!
  • Pastor Frank left our church 😦
  • Jose went on a hike with Daddy, Badi, and Aunt Eggy
  • I inexplicably deleted everything off my external hard-drive and am still working on recovering files to this day – including all of my photos from around February 2011 through January 2012.  GO ME!!!

February 2012

  • Squishy got his 2nd official haircut – I hated it and probably won’t be taking him again till he has to go to Kindergarten
  • Jose and Squishy had a mud day – Squishy was covered from head to toe; I had to insist that Jose get dirty.  Those two!!  LOL!
  • Badi and I organized our entire book collection (well, not quite – we still need shelves for all of the early reader/picture books)
  • Jose had a Valentine’s celebration at school that I went in to help with; we also celebrated at home, of course
  • I got a new camera!
  • The boys played a lot of baseball and soccer, went on hikes, and went to the park – mostly with Badi and Aunt Eggy
  • Jose and Daddy went on a hike with Pastor Frank, because Jose really misses him and is hoping to stay his friend
  • Jose got fancied up for his “Elegant Event” at school
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  • The boys did a LOT of bike riding – even going a couple miles at a time with Daddy (well, Squishy sat in the seat on the back of Daddy’s bike for that, lol)
  • We discovered that Jose is an amazing artist
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  • Jose went and saw Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace in theaters with me – I saw it with my dad for my birthday 13 years ago
  • Squishy got to have his very first Dunkin Donut
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March 2012

  • Squishy and I went and spent the day with Ms. Jess and we got to see horses, too!
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  • The boys started soccer with Aunt Eggy as their coach – they love it but have a little bit of a hard time staying focused
  • Jose watched Labyrinth for the first time. He was completely engrossed and looked equal parts horrified and amused, lol!
  • Jose took part in his first art contest – it ended this past week and he didn’t win, but he did get tickets to see Van Gogh Live! at the Science Center
  • Daddy and I celebrated our 8th anniversary and Jose bought me flowers because he wanted me to know how much he loved me, lol
  • Dude and his girlfriend came and visited Phoenix and we had a great time with them – especially getting to know Ms. Caitie!
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  • The boys fell in love with Party Rock Anthem thanks to Kia’s Hamster commercial
  • Jose had his first “official” kiss – well, she actually kissed him, and it was at the prompting of the class troublemaker, but still… 😉
  • Jose got to go to Pump It Up to celebrate a friend’s birthday and had a BLAST!
  • Aunt Eggy and I took the boys to see The Lorax – even Squishy did pretty good despite asking if the movie was done 5 minutes into it
  • Jose sent Flat Stanley to Dude in North Carolina
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  • Badi and I had to tell Jose the story of Adam Walsh. He just will not stay by me in stores lately – insists on disappearing and he about gave me a heart attack in Bookmans. I was a little worried it would give him nightmares (it didn’t seem to), but honestly? When the other option is him being kidnapped, I’ll take a few nightmares any day. 😐
  • We got an iPad.  Enough said.
  • Jose went to another friend’s birthday party – this one at a park and hosted by High 5 Sports (it was supposed to have been the day after his other one, but was postponed due to rain.) Since Momma and Daddy were leaving for Flagstaff that day, he got to be picked up after school by his friend’s mom.  He felt so grown up. :mrgreen:
  • We spent Spring Break in Flagstaff in a BIG condo – Badi and Pop-pop joined us for a few days. We went to the park, played sports, hiked, saw Indian ruins – all kinds of fun!!  Jose’s favorite part was getting to use our hot tub, lol.
  • Jose discovered Tim Hawkins.  He is in love.  Ha ha!

April 2012:

  • The boys started swim lessons – Squishy in the pool with Aunt Eggy, Jose in the pool independently, of course
  • Squishy got sick and have to have breathing treatments again, but he got better really quick!
  • Daddy and I finished the boys’ re-purposed crib chalkboard desk just in time for Easter!
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  • We celebrated Easter in style – egg and basket search at home; Sunday School, Eggstravaganza, and service at church; another egg search (real eggs, this time!) at Badi and Pop-pop’s house; dinner with everyone at our house
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And now you’re all caught up!!!  And so am I.  WHEW!!! 😛

One Month+ (Now with Johnny Appleseed Pic!)

Jose and Mrs. Teacher


Well, here I am, taking forever to update again. Surprised? 😉 Didn’t think so. At any rate, I’m taking a little time tonight to reflect on the past month (plus.) Jose started Kindergarten on August 24 (see picture above of him with his teacher the day before school started), and he has changed so much just in this short amount of time. It’s as though this vast source of knowledge has been opened in his brain and it all comes tumbling forth in wondrous proportions. I am amazed daily by my child and the incredible amount of information he has seemed to suddenly assimilate in such a minute portion of his life. Here’s an example of what I mean:

  • Counts to 200 with little hesitation and few (if any) mistakes
  • Repeats/explains Biblical stories, such as Creation or the fall in the Garden of Eden, with precise detail and knowledgeable application of the principles presented therein
  • Creates patterns incorporating up to four different shapes and colors
  • Writes sentences and creates (not just draws, but uses scissors, paints, glue, whatever it takes) illustrations, such as: “the hELuctR And the pilit” = “The helicopter and the pilot.”
  • Solves fairly difficult mazes with apparent effortlessness
  • Comes home and copies concepts done at school, explaining why they were done that way, to show us what he’s been learning

    Jose was learning about x-rays in class

  • Memorizes one or two sentence Bible verses every week
  • Displays an awareness of a variety of sight words, including (but certainly not limited to): and, the, a, an, he, she, go, we, me, it
  • Rhymes words with ease, sometimes even coming up with complex rhymes
  • Identifies beginning and end sounds in many words

And again, these are just some of the multitude of things he blows me away with on a daily basis.  I am honestly not trying to brag or somehow toot my own horn for my son’s accomplishments.  I am just in utter shock at how much he has absorbed, how quickly it’s happened, and how well he’s retaining concepts that I distinctly remember not learning until 1st or 2nd grade.  I don’t know how today’s early childhood teachers manage to cram in everything that state standards require them to pass on to the kids at such young ages, but it is apparent that Jose’s teacher is doing something right.

The best part?  Jose loves school.  LOVES IT.  Even when he was having a small issue with one of the other students last month, he never once indicated in any way that he didn’t want to go.  He loves learning, loves being with the other kids, loves sharing what he was taught that day.  Sometimes he loves doing one thing or another a little too much, goes overboard, and ends up on yellow, but hey – I TOTALLY understand how that . . .  squirrel!!! :mrgreen: And in just this month+ that he’s been there, so much has happened in class!  He’s already been star student, meaning he got to bring home the class “pet”, Stella (a plush Mario star, lol), and had special activities every day centered around the class finding out more about him – from an “about me” poster, to having momma (me) come in and read to the class, it was a fun week all around.

He made a best friend before school even started – the day before to be exact.  At “get acquainted day”, we met the other students in his class, and I knew before he even told me, which student would be his best friend – a pretty girl who has just turned 6 and is taller and slightly better at everything than the other kids.  Want to know how I knew she’d be his best friend?  The first thing she did was boss him around, and tell him what he needed to be doing on his treasure hunt.  He has a serious pattern when it comes to his best friends – bossy girls who love to spend time with him, playing pretty much any game he dreams up.  With their own rules added, of course. 😀

The class has had a Johnny Appleseed week, ending in a dress up like Johnny day (I don’t have a picture on this computer, but I’ll try to remember to come back and post one later.)

Here's the picture! And yeah, I know that's the wrong kind of pot, but his ginormous head was too massive for our single handled pots, lol. Besides, they made paper ones in school that they actually wore.


They’ve made it almost through the entire alphabet and will be having an alphabet party at the end of this week.  They go to computers, library, P.E., art, music, and Spanish at least once a week.  They try new foods in class, practice things on the SMART board, and learn little class “cheers” (which Jose LOVES to repeat, as long as he’s not being too shy.) 😛  They have chapel twice a month, and the Lord really speaks to Jose’s heart during those times.  There is so much more that I know I’m forgetting, but I am just a little overwhelmed (in a really good way!) at all the changes being wrought in my little boy.

I was so worried that I was somehow sending him off into the great unknown, unprepared for what he would face, when it turns out I was the one woefully unprepared for just how well he’d blossom and how incredible he’d turn out to be in his new environment. 😳

Pre-K Graduation **sob**

Our Little Graduate!

Well, Jose is officially an elementary school kid now! 😥 Last Friday, he participated in a graduation ceremony with the rest of his pre-K class. They were all so cute! They sang songs (made us cry with, “I Believe I Can Fly”), said a Bible verse and prayer, and got diplomas. There was a short vocation about how God is always with you (NOTE: in Spanish, “go with God” is “vayA cOn Dios”, not “vayO cAn Dios”… ;)), the principal read a poem titled “Where the Children Grow” that the kids’ teacher first heard at HER son’s graduation, and there was also a wonderfully poignant slideshow/video that their teacher put together. It was a great little ceremony and I’m so glad myself, Squishy, Badi, and Jose’s aunts could make it. And the bonus afterward? FOOD! Lol… There were all sorts of dishes to choose from, as well as cake and ice cream. All the kids enjoyed that! 😛

Jose and his teacher

Just wanted to share one little story as well. See the picture below? Well, the mom of the little girl on Jose’s right stopped me after the ceremony to say:
“I have to tell you about Jose and *Little Girl*. She came home and said, ‘Mommy can I go to Jose’s party?’ And I said, ‘We’ll have to see – who is Jose?’ And *Little Girl* said, ‘Jose is the boy in my class who loves me. He says I’m like a rose.'”
AWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen:

TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK!!!

Okay, I totally love Teacher Appreciation Week.  Wanna know why?  Because today, Jose gave his teacher an AWESOME project that we created for her.  She loved it so much that she was practically tearing up.  All the kids in the class loved it, too, and asked if they could help her eat the candy.  Lol!!!

Now, I didn’t think of it entirely by myself – I’d seen something like it years ago, and also gotten an email from a friend recently about it again, but I did “finesse” it (read: added more “candy” phrases, because seriously – you can never have too much candy) and made it specific to her.  I am SO STOKED with how it turned out.  I LOVE GIVING GIFTS TO PEOPLE!!!!!  Anyway, I’ve included a picture that you can click on to read it more clearly, but below is what is written out on the board, in case it’s tough to tell.

“Dear Ms.                                 ,

Thank you!  You are such a [SWEETART] for everything you teach our [RUNTS].  You deserve [100 GRAND][100 GRAND] every [PAYDAY].  We know sometimes the kids act like they are [AIRHEADS] and [NERDS] or like they’re from somewhere in [ORBIT] far beyond the [MILKY WAY]!!  You bring them such [ALMOND JOY] when you teach about the [WHATCHAMACALLIT] and when you ignore their [WHOPPERS]…  It must be hard to contain your [SNICKERS] when you hear the [MOUNDS] of stories those little [SUGAR BABIES] tell.  Sometimes it must seem that all you do is [SKOR] the kids’ progress, and surely there are days when you want to make like [BABY RUTH] and just run home!  For everything you do, you deserve to [TAKE 5] every [NOW AND LATER].  Thanks, Ms.                                .  You are the [RIESEN] that all of our children are [SMARTIES] instead of [DUM DUMS].  Honestly, you truly are a huge [LIFESAVER].

With many [HUGS] and [KISSES],

Our Names

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  You are loved. ❤ ”

And I know I’m kinda tooting my own horn with this post, but I just love how well this all came together.  😀

Heart On His Sleeve

 **disclaimer: if you are mentioned in this post at all (you’ll know if you are), PLEASE do not let it make you feel bad.  That is NOT the point of this AT ALL. I just wanted to share some of my heartache about Jose’s heartache…**

My sweet little Jose...

I would never want Jose to be anyone but exactly who he is.  However, sometimes I hate that he is just like me.  Not because we butt heads (which we do), or because my mom laughs at me seeing that her wish for me to have a child like myself was fulfilled (which she does 😀 ), but because it means he gets his little heart broken all to pieces all the time…  😦

When someone new is introduced to his – how shall I put it – “circle,” he immediately invests his entire being in them, presumes that they do the same, and doesn’t understand when they disappear (whether semi or altogether) from his life.  At not-quite 5yo, the reasons behind their absence – however valid they may be, and they usually are – not only do not mean much to him, but they also don’t do a lot to relieve the ache in his heart.  I realize that people will always come in and out of Jose’s life, and that much of what he’s feeling currently will likely be forgotten over the course of the next few years (though will also just as likely be replaced with new and different experiences), but all that matters right now is that I have a little boy with deep hurt in his heart.  He manages to hide it (or even forget about it) much of the time, but it’s always there under the surface, waiting to pierce him again whenever he’s tired, stressed, worried about something else, angry, etc.

  1. He doesn’t understand why we can’t go and see his “friends” in Iowa and Michigan whenever we want to, and he misses them desperately.  The concept of how money works is so beyond his comprehension at this point, and he asks us to please just go get more from the bank so we can fly to see them.  Or just use our credit cards.
  2. He doesn’t get why his “girlfriend,” after whom he named his pengiun lovie and the subsequent book he published, went to a different school this year, after still being at his school the first week of this year.  Or why his best guy friend just didn’t come back at all.  The fact that their parents needed to put them in different schools for completely understandable reasons doesn’t factor in with him, he just knows that they aren’t with him anymore.  And though he’s started to forget them (which is, I suppose, a good thing), he still remembers them from time to time and asks if we can find them and go on a play date with them.
  3. He knows all the reasons why his uncle had to move across the country, but he prays for him every single night before bed and asks all the time when they can Skype again (difficult to schedule with two different time-zones and two very busy lives), and when he’ll be moving back for good.  I simply haven’t had the heart yet to tell him that his uncle is likely never moving back again, and probably won’t be able to visit very often either.  It’s because he is learning to be an excellent minister, and is actually going to be a Navy chaplain – something wonderfully exciting to which God has called him – but that is so hard for Jose to grasp.
  4. He’s completely at a loss for why his uncle “doesn’t love” (Jose’s words, not mine) his girlfriend anymore, and why – in return – that means that Jose himself doesn’t get to see her anymore, either.  “But I still love her, momma!”  She often features in his “God bless…” list as well.  And I know that his uncle and the girl would have done anything they could have to not have this happen – and that she does love and miss Jose as well – but once again, all Jose gets is that he’s lost another friend.
  5. Most recently, he’s had to find out that one of his all-time favorite adults (outside of family 😉 ) will be exiting his weekly life very shortly.  She has made the excellent and difficult decision to stay home with her baby girl, and I’ve explained that what she wants to do for her baby is the same as I do for him and Squishy every day.  He tells me that he knows that’s good, and that he loves having me at home, but (there’s always a “but”), “When will I get to see her?  She lives sooo far away!”  And really, in the grand scheme of metropolitan big-city life, she’s not THAT far away, but when we don’t see people we love on a regular basis, time just tends to slip away from us.  The majority of his brothers and sisters live w/in an hour of us as well, and how often do we get together with them?  A couple times a year???
  6. I don’t even want to think about October…

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